Saturday, November 8, 2008
The acrylics were calling me. (I'm being a little dramatic.) They have been neglected as of late, taking a backseat to my other favs. Thought I'd give them a try on a 4x4 gessoboard so that I didn't have to deal with warping paper tonight. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do, other than play with paint, so to get started I glued a few stray pieces of text to the board. Funny how unplanned acts develop into something bigger. So true to life.
Started with two safe colors: quinacridone nickel azo gold and transparent yellow iron oxide. I say safe because I am one of those cautious dabblers that uses the same colors over, and over, and over. Ann Baldwin had provided us with a lovely selection of deeper hues in our abstract collage class at Art& Soul, so out came jenkins green. I am not a green or blue user, but I figured I'd take a chance and slap a bit on somewhere for contrast (or is that complementary??). I did and I was pleased with the look. Then decided to use some leftover transparencies and attempted to transfer the image of the woman to the whole shebang. Transfers being what they are, only part of it came out. But although it looked somewhat ghostly, it wasn't a total disaster.
A title started to form in my mind, initially because of the faulty transfer. She looked like she was fading out. I applied more colors and a telltale king in the upper right corner. And so began the thought that these women, whose images frequently find their way into our work, often had very hard, demanding and grueling lives. They were singularly devoted to their families, their homes, and the relentless task of just trying to survive. Our grandmothers, greatgrandmothers, great aunts. How must they have felt? Did they, like we, feel overwhelmed and unappreciated at times? Surely they must have.
It has often occurred to me over the past several months that a majority of us feel we have been overshadowed by all that is our daily lives. Our work, pursuits, families . . . love them as we may, they exact a toll on our sense of self, our sense of individuality. We ignore it at first and stay busy with things that require our attention and energies. But then, at some point, we can no longer ignore it. We do not want to lose ourselves. And so we embark on a journey of self discovery. A journey that is colorful, enriching, and satifying . . . and somewhat expensive (Lordy, the cost of art supplies!!). We make messes, we make mistakes, we make art . . . and we make friends. And in the process, we find that thing within ourselves again that makes us feel worthwhile and gives us a simple sense of fulfillment. How wonderful that it is so.
Ciao for now.